Watch Dogs: Legion Review – Hack the World, Bruv

Developer Ubisoft Toronto’s Watch Dogs: Legion has been unleashed on the world. Are you ready to save London, bruv? Should you save it, or just leave it to Zero Day and bypass this game altogether?

Read on to find out

 

The Watch Dogs franchise kicked off more than 6 years ago, and has been a huge success for Ubisoft. Both Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2 each sold more than 10 million copies and the original title actually broke records just from pre-orders of a new IP. When we heard that Ubisoft was taking the next installment of the game to London, we were stoked. They duplicated and brought both Chicago and San Francisco to life in previous games, so we were really excited to see how well they duplicated London. We weren’t disappointed.

Watch Dogs: Legion Review – DedSec vs Zero Day in London

Watch Dogs: Legion is set in London in the somewhat near future, in a truly internet connected city, with an upgraded ctOS (Central Operating System) that controls a large number of automated tasks, with self driving cars, delivery drones just about everywhere, all connected to every cell phone, giving you, the player, the ability to hack into everything. Anyone and everyone walking around London has a digital device that stores all of their personal information, and you can easily dive into any one of them, and can even see how they feel about your hacker collective DedSec. Every NPC can be recruited, and actually become a playable character, so the information you’ll see when hacking them becomes vital to your decision to recruit or not (more on that later).

The story opens as London experiences one of the worst terrorist attacks in its history, and your hacking collective DedSec is assigned all of the blame thanks to another hacker collective called Zero Day. This terrorist attack leads to a full on martial law type take over by a private security firm called Albion, who proceeds to rule with no oversight and no repercussions when being heavy handed in their daily encounters with Joe Public. It is up to you and your collective to not only clear your name and find the real terrorists, but also to show the world that Albion is really the biggest threat around. The story is well written, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

Watch Dogs: Legion Review – Recruiting FTW

One of the downfalls of having all of these automated systems is that it takes countless jobs away from everyday people. In this future London, homelessness and unemployment have grown exponentially and protests can be found in quite a few places around the city. These areas are ripe for recruiting, and some of these folks can be highly skilled. Watch Dogs: Legion allows you to play as any member of your collective, so when recruiting someone to your team, keep that in mind. We came across an assassin that had some pretty cool perks and recruited him straight away. He not only had an impressive assault rifle, but also a sweet Desert Eagle to back it up. He does have a bit of a gambling problem, though, and can both win and lose some of your in game currency if you leave him unattended.

Your team can have up to forty five members on it in total, and this includes both recruited operatives and potential recruits. Occasionally a mission will require you to recruit someone, and if you are at max capacity, you’ll have to either drop an operative or drop a potential recruit. This is done easily enough, but keep in mind that some of these folks have more perks than others, so decide wisely. You can also recruit Albion employees and members of the local gang Clan Kelley and having these folks on your team will make missions into their controlled areas much easier, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Watch Dogs: Legion Review – Getting Around Town

The game map for Watch Dogs: Legion is pretty damn big. This isn’t just the City of London proper, but also the surrounding areas. Luckily Ubisoft Toronto did some homework and added in the Underground. This is a massive subway system that, in real life, physically connects the city and its surroundings and makes traveling from point-A to Point-B very convenient. If you’ve ever been to London, you’ll recognize the big red, white, and blue Underground Logo, but if you haven’t, that’s OK because they are pretty easy to see all over the map, once you’ve eliminated the shadows by visiting the different areas. The developer used real tube stop names and locations, so if you do know the area, that may actually come in handy.

Once you’ve reached your tube stop and found the Way Out, you may still need to travel a bit farther, and you can either commandeer a vehicle, or find a handy cargo drone that you can actually climb on and then control by hacking it. These are basically air transports that can carry you to higher places, and make certain missions much easier. They aren’t the fastest mode of transportation around, but they are the handiest. We have come across many areas that couldn’t physically be reached without the aid of one of these bad boys, so keep a lookout for them on your map, and if you are having a hard time accessing somewhere, remember that flying in is almost always an option. They do have a low ceiling, though, so some of the higher buildings won’t be reachable on one of these.

Watch Dogs: Legion Review – Tech Upgrades and Gadgets

In Watch Dogs: Legion you won’t be walking around empty handed, as the developer gives you some pretty nifty gadgets and tools that are upgraded with tech points that are either awarded by completing missions, or by finding them lying around. The gadgets include a cool little remote control spider, with camera, that can get into some tight areas and help open doors, as well as hack things that need a physical presence. Spider upgrades include sprint, double jump, and a very handy cloaking tool that makes it invisible. There’s also a gadget for cloaking yourself and some brass knuckles that provide a little shock to go with your punch, to name just a few.

Tech upgrades are where you can really make your operative very effective. You can hide bodies in plain sight, make all of your operatives tougher, upgrade your profiling ability to help recruit those harder potential recruits, and upgrade your abilities so that you can control enemy bots, drones, and turrets. Our favorite upgrades allows you to have these bots, drones, and turrets turn on the bad guys and start working for you. They’ll never know what hit em. The upgrades and gadgets are a great addition to the series, and really enhance the gameplay.

Watch Dogs: Legion Review – Freeing the London Area

The game map is separated into eight regions, with each region starting out as Oppressed. Part of your job is to complete specific missions in each area to help raise them to a Defiant state, which in turn reveals all of the tech points spread out in that region and also unlocks a skilled operative for your team. These are missions that can be completed either during your playthrough of the story mode or after you’ve completed the story. Some of these unlockable operatives may come in handy during the story, so keep that in mind as you play through the game.

The city really feels alive, and there’s always something going on and someone that needs to be saved from the jack booted thugs of Albion or the bullies that the Clan Kelley employs. It’s pretty easy to get side tracked from a mission and end up in a huge firefight and car chase, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you turn on permadeath for your operatives and they go down in the aforementioned firefight. We tend to get attached to our characters, so permadeath was an easy no for us, but if you really want to up the stakes, there is that option. Permadeath is exactly what it sounds like. If your operative dies in the game, they are gone for good. Finito. Deadzo. Sleeping with the fishes.

Developer Ubisoft Montreal already knew the best recipe for the Watch Dog series, and with Watch Dogs: Legion, not only did they faithfully create another impressive entry into the franchise, but they also created the best one yet. Making it a collective was the smartest move yet.

For those of you that are moving on to the next generation of consoles and purchased the previous consoles version, Watch Dogs: Legion also includes a free upgraded version for you.

10


Watch Dogs: Legion review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean.